Do you need help making decisions and improving for future practice? if so then reflective practice (RP) alongside evidence-based practice (EBP) are the only tools you need. In the post we are going to tell you how both RP and EBP are used in professional fields and how they benefit individuals work and future decision making. Were also going to compare them but also how they sit hand in hand to complement each other within practice.
There is an increase in need for Reflective practice due to an increase in professions since around 1983. (Lishman, 2015) The whole idea behind the concept is to critically analyse and interrogate professional practice in a way and to help find better ways and improvements for the future; in the UK and USA the idea of reflective practice is becoming a necessity for those in fields such as teaching and science. It is now even beginning to enter into degrees and is seen as a useful skill for future employers. (Trelfa, 2016) Reflective practice is used as a mean to try and refocus, improve and increase satisfaction in a professional’s work, it is used informally by nurses all the time as they write reflective journals as part of their learning. (Horton-Deutsch and Sherwood, 2017) Even though there is such a push for RP in recent years there is a lack of recent models which guide people in the right directions, some people take it that they just need to add something new into their practice every time to make it better; however (Rodgers and LaBoskey,) suggest that the best way of reflective practice is to just transform and adapt what you are already doing. One model that has been recently been released is (NC Reflection Model, 2010.) Shown in figure 1 the model clearly identifies how reflective practice can be used by professionals in today’s world, before models such as this have started to be released most people would use (Gibbs 1998) as a guideline, however this is now outdated and its tome for more recent models to be used which fit better into today’s world.
Evidence based practice
Evidence based practice is described as finding the gaps and missing pieces in literature and decision making of professionals in order to see if they comply with a patients needs. (Roussel, 2016) Roussel also created this model of EBP which helps people to be able to integrate it into their everyday practice. The model is shown in figure 2 and informs us how we can use EBP to begin filling in the missing gaps within industries and practice and innovate for the future and improve patient care. The use or evidence based practice is now massive and used widely in healthcare as well as science, now it can be known as “Evidence based healthcare” Practitioners use it to improve patient car by sharing information with colleagues and study’s on databases, the idea being that they can all feed from each-other and improve their practice. (Hamer and Collinson, 2014) EBP feeds into the science world simply because of its use of “evidence” one example of how its being used in the science filed is Cognitive behavioural therapy; its used as a strong model for psychotherapy due to it having a strong backbone of evidence behind it. (Dobson and Dobson, 2018) It is important to use EBP to make key clinical decisions as most people today use databases and studies to implement on there decisions within practice; however barriers such as time, resources and lack of understating key material can sometimes get int the way and cause barriers for some people. (Mota da Silva et al., 2015)
Comparison and overlap
When using both evidence-based practice and reflective practice they sit nicely hand in hand. Although they are different ideas they share the same fundamental aspects. (Thompson and Burns, 2008) If for example we take out two models from above we can see how they feed from different things and don’t follow the same trends, but we use steps one to five from the reflective model within the EBP model in order to fill in the gaps for and be able to innovate. And vice versa we use evidence-based practice in order to be able to critique ourselves and reflect on our practice. Both schemes are useful alone and together for example reflection helps us learn as we elaborate and correct ourselves from before (Mezirow, 2018.) Whereas evidence based practice is a method used to bridge the gap between scientific findings and patient needs.(Pubmed et al., n.d.) When used together they prove a strong a sufficient way to improve professional practice in all fields and create better decision making as well as laying bed of knowledge for others to feed from.(Addis, 2002)
As we can see from above reflective practice and evidence-based practice are becoming a huge part of professionalism in today’s world. It is beginning to find its way into degree programmes and is seen as am employable skill for the future so is good to have an idea about and show your understanding and how you can apply it to your own work. Both EBP and RP are helping to improve our future by encouraging critical analysis of evidence and using it to support out decisions in order to improve patient care. Although it is Widely used and being encouraged by many professionals’ others don’t have time or resources. This is something I believe should be worked on so that all professionals in all fields are on the same page. Doctors for example may not have the time to critically read and understand data from studies and misinterpret the findings in a way which may not be best for the patient. We should support professionals such as this in order to help them make the best decisions and help them also reflect.
Addis, M. E. (2002) ‘Methods for Disseminating Research Products and Increasing Evidence-Based Practice: Promises, Obstacles, and Future Directions.’ Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 9(4) pp. 367–378.
Dobson, D. and Dobson, K. S. (2018) Evidence-Based Practice of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Second Edition. Guilford Publications.
Hamer, S. and Collinson, G. (2014) Achieving Evidence-Based Practice: A Handbook for Practitioners. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Lishman, J. (2015) Handbook for Practice Learning in Social Work and Social Care, Third Edition: Knowledge and Theory. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Mezirow, J. (n.d.) ‘A Guide to Transformative and Emancipatory Learning’ p. 6.
Mota da Silva, T., da Cunha Menezes Costa, L., Garcia, A. N. and Costa, L. O. P. (2015) ‘What do physical therapists think about evidence-based practice? A systematic review.’ Manual Therapy, 20(3) pp. 388–401.
Pubmed, S., Wensing, M. and Profile, S. (n.d.) Adopting Best Evidence in Practice ONE OF THE MOST CONSISTENT FINDINGS in health.
Roussel, L. A. (2016) Evidence-Based Practice. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Thompson, D. N. and Burns, H. K. (2008) ‘Reflection: an essential element of evidence-based practice.’ Journal of emergency nursing: JEN: official publication of the Emergency Department Nurses Association, 34(3) pp. 246–248.